Poised for state title run
Lackey girls win season’s first indoor meet; Wolverines, Rams, Eagles 2nd to 4th in boys
LANDOVER — For many of the runners competing in the indoor track and field season opener for the Southern Maryland Athletic Con- ference at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover on Friday evening, the long term goals evolved primarily around outdoor events in the spring.
Among the girls teams, Lackey displayed no signs of any letdown from its outdoor state title by accumulating 105 points to take first overall, followed closely by Great Mills (92) with Leonardtown (63.5) edg- ing Huntingtown (57) and Northern (55) for third.
Among the boys, Huntingtown (98.5) easily captured the initial team title, while Westlake (62) edged McDonough (60) for the runner-up spot. North Point (51.5) nipped Great Mills (49) for fourth, while Patux- ent (42), Lackey (38) and La Plata (36) occupied the next three spots at the meet.
Among the Lackey girls, speed and experi- ence were on display as senior Sydney Williams easily won the 55-meter hurdles (8.48 seconds), while junior teammate Dominique Jeffery displayed her speed and versatility by taking both the 55 (7.50) and 500 runs (1 minute 22.16 seconds). They were both part of the 800 relay that finished second to a Northern quartet.
Youth was served when the Patriots girls 800 relay group of juniors Tiffany Jackson, Ashlynne Raby, Kelsey Wilcox and Alaina Teselle combined to prevail in 1:55.67, roughly one-half second faster than the Chargers relay. Teselle excelled as the Patriots’ anchor, shifting into overdrive on the final lap to enable the Northern squad to post the faster clocking of the
“I just wanted to take the baton from Kelsey and just run fast,” said Teselle, who also plays lacrosse for the school in the spring and plays lacrosse for a club team throughout the year. “We really wanted to take first place in that event. My teammates went out there and ran fast, so I knew it was up to me to finish out strong. It’s exciting to come in first knowing Lackey is so good.”
In many of the distance events for girls, it was a seasoned veteran of the indoor, outdoor and cross country seasons who recorded a hat trick of sorts. Great Mills senior Annie Imhof, who recently com- mitted to continue her college career at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, won the 800 (2:37.03) and 3,200 (11:33.61) and also partnered with Hor- nets teammates Shadana Rothwell, Anna Staats and younger sister Emily Im- hof to capture the 3,200 relay (10:33.79) by more than 21 seconds.
“Right now, coming out of cross country season, I really have not had to endure a lot of hard workouts or prac- tices,” said Imhof, who opted for Navy over Air Force after seeing how much more animated the Midshipmen fans react during home football games. “My long term goal, really, is just to be ready for the long events of the outdoor season. I’m just trying to pace myself right now and trying to stay healthy and injury-free.”
Calvert senior Lauren Miller, who played soccer for the Cavaliers in the fall, pulled away from the younger Imhof to take the 1,600 (5:46.91), with Sta-
ats third and Calvert runners Kayla Brennan and Emily Mutchler finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. It was a good start to the indoor season for Miller, who is already eyeing the outdoor sea- son in the spring.
“Having just finished soccer season, I’m used to doing a lot of running,” Miller said. “It’s always an adjustment running indoors the first time. I like coming up here for home meets. I’ve gotten used to it. I’m hoping to maybe break 5:30 for the mile [1,600] and then focus on the distance events in the outdoor season. We have a lot of good competition in the SMAC.”
On the boys side, Huntingtown got a pair of vic- tories from senior Colin Flynn, who missed the latter part of the cross country season after needing an emergency appendectomy. Flynn captured the 800 (2:08.99) by nearly three seconds over senior teammate Aidan Baird and took the 1,600 (4:49.06) by more than a full second over Patuxent junior Brendan Jones.
Another seasoned cross country performer, Westlake junior Jay Hall, easily captured the 3,200 (9:49.28) over Huntingtown junior Ben Russell, with Jones edging Northern’s Shayne Landers for third and Westlake’s Jett Hall narrowly defeating Northern’s Jack Lehn- hardt and Patrick Ervin for fifth with that trio separated by less than a sec- ond.
North Point junior Markus Bryant placed second overall in the 500 (1:14.71), 26 one-hun- dredths second behind La Plata freshman Stephen Cobb. Bryant, who plans to attend either Johns Hopkins University or UCLA, finished third in the 800 (2:13.10).
“The first indoor meet is always tough,” Bryant said. “I was really hoping to break 1:08 in the 500 and I’m hoping to go 2:10 in the 800. I would like to do well at SMAC and regionals and qualify for states. I want to win all of those events, but I guess that’s everyone’s goal.”
La Plata senior Noah Varnell, another veteran cross country runner, led throughout the early stag- es of the 800 split won by Flynn (2:08.99) and would eventually place seventh overall (2:20.21). Varnell, who ran cross country all four seasons at La Plata and plans to run indoors and outdoors for four years, is looking ahead to the remainder of the indoor schedule.
“I felt pretty good through the early part of the race,” said Varnell, who plans to attend the University of Maryland next fall and major in ag- ricultural science. “I just got tired at the end. Going from cross country to indoors is tough. You get warmer earlier indoors and you get tired quicker.”
Huntingtown senior Harleigh White won the 300 (42.32) and the long jump (15 feet 6 3/4 inches). Lackey seniors Lauryn Young (32-10) and Jordyn Hawkins (31-2) finished first and second in the triple jump, while Chargers seniors Courtney Hawkins (36-9) and Elysse Johnson (30-5) finished first and second in the shot put.
Among the boys in field events, McDonough junior Avaugh Holley won the high jump (6-0), Great Mills senior Savion Chisholm took the long jump (19-1 1/2), Huntingtown senior Adam Kinder captured the triple jump (42-2) and fellow Hurricanes senior Christopher Alexy won the shot put (50-5).